What destroyed my 2017 sweet potato crop ??????

Asked April 2, 2018, 9:31 AM EDT

Hi, have grown a year's worth sweet potatoes yearly, forever, in raised beds. I rotate every year, among 5 beds. The sweet potatoes are the only crop in any bed each summer. Never had any problems. Last summer, vines were abundant and prolific as usual, but the sweet potatoes were destroyed by something. See picture. I get my slips from Duck Creek farm in Oklahoma. And he suggested I contact you for advice. What creature did this? How can I fight back??? Thanks!

Maryland wildlife vegetables sweet potato problem pest vole

1 Response

Frustrating, we know.
This looks like vole damage. Repeatedly setting snap traps in and around the beds can help to lessen their numbers. You may want to selectively prune some of the vines so they don't have so much cover to move and evade natural predators.

Please take a look at our Sweet Potato page here, which includes a link to voles:
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/plants/sweet-potato

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